Wisdom can be transmitted in many ways, and Anandha Ray choreographs wisdom into her “shamanic fusion” dance performances by way of addressing our fears and confronting them head on. Incorporating ceremony with the art of dance brings a deeper connection to the choreography that stimulates our awareness of who we are as non-dualistic people… ie, how to integrate our shadow selves into our primary image of ourselves. The Covenant dance performance at Grace Cathedral is an example of how wisdom can be experienced through movement and music.
Anandha describes shamanic fusion dance as a blend of many forms of dance with a specific goal: to allow movement to open portals of inquiry to better understand the state of being human. Through this form, she seeks to provide dance as a kind of “spiritual mirror” for us to witness aspects of our humanness that are difficult to talk about, aspects that in our individual experiences we may not be sure others understand. In seeing Covenant you might reflect upon your own life, the humanness you share with others, and the ultimate beauty of being — even in the shadow moments of life.
In addition to being able to view the entire dance in your VR headset, you can travel to Anandha’s backyard and hang out with her (and her chickens) while she tells you the story of how she’s had to overcome obstacles in her life to continue creating this form of dance which many in the traditional dance community discounted as “dark,” and “without entertainment value.”
The setting for the dance is Grace Cathedral, one of the largest and most architecturally famous Episcopalian churches in the country. Grace has had a long history of supporting artists working within the field of consciousness. The original cathedral, built in 1862, burnt down in the 1906 SF earthquake and the current cathedral was begun in 1910, took 55 years to build, and was consecrated in a sermon by Dr. Martin Luther King in 1965. Grace is known to be one of the most progressive churches in the world and hosts a series of cultural events that are rooted in the San Francisco Bay Area’s socially-aware traditions. Anandha’s dance company was chosen to be the finale in January 2019’s SF Movement Arts Festival with the Covenant dance, and in July 2019 the VR experience of Covenant was chosen to be featured on 40 headsets at the summer festival.
To get the most from these experiences, view using an Oculus, GearVR or Google Daydream/Cardboard headset and use the SamsungVR app. Need help? Click here.